Letter from my 80 year old self (she told me not to worry).

I recently took part in an online writing workshop. One of the prompts given was: write yourself a letter from your 80 year-old self. What would they want to say to you? Would there be a general message? What would they plead with you to stop doing?

This is how my letter started:

“Stop worrying. Stop. Worrying.

You can’t control everything. Everything passes. Some things will turn out as you want them to, some won’t. 

What’s going on now, will pass. It will last a day, weeks, months, a year or so perhaps. But not forever. You’ll look back and it will be this blip that you overcame.

Think about the things that worried you when you were 6, 16, 29, 35. Last year, last month. Do they still bother you now? Can you even remember what they are? Did they seem gigantic at the time, but feel insignificant now?”

I guess it shows what’s top of my mind right now – worry! Worrying about so many different things.

Quite rightly all of us are concerned about the coronavirus right now, it’s a scary thing. But perhaps for me it’s highlighting all the other ‘little’ things I don’t really need to spend time worrying about. It’s giving me perspective.

I know there’s not much point worrying. I know that the things I worry about either don’t happen, and I’ll chastise myself for wasting time worrying. Or, they do happen, and then they pass. And I recover.

It’s hard, when going through something difficult, to see the bigger picture. That it will pass. But, this exercise was a good reminder. In the future I’ll look back at it as ‘that time when…’ It won’t last forever.

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Written during Writers’ Hour. Join me on the next one

Photo by Bundo Kim on Unsplash

2 Replies to “Letter from my 80 year old self (she told me not to worry).”

  1. Here from the Writer’s Salon! I’m 28 now, and have to remind myself all the time to stop worrying. (I know, I know.) Sometimes I think, “Oh yeah, what was that thing I was stressing about last week?” It doesn’t mean it wasn’t real, but it probably didn’t require the kind of response that keeps me from sticking to what’s really important. Nice post! <3

    1. Thanks Chloe – I agree, at the time some things seem so important, when they’re not…it can be hard to keep perspective!

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